Just like exercise is good for strengthening the body, paying attention to my thoughts and deliberately redirecting them to a more preferable perspective is crucial for strengthening my mind.
Today I realised just how many negative thoughts I have even in the course of an hour; everything from mulling over conversations I had with people I saw over the weekend, worrying about whether I made a good impression on people I have met recently, and envying those who are able to afford a cleaner and have never had to do any house work or tedious domestic work in their lives, and resenting the fact that I am spending my entire day at home cleaning my tiny apartment which seems to require a lot more maintenance than one would think is reasonable for its size. The thoughts went on and on, and while I have not yet gotten around to getting my notepad to write them all down I was diligent about completing the task in my mind.
Although it is only my first day, I have already noticed how refreshing and motivating this project is proving to be. As soon as a negative thought pops into my head, I get excited at the opportunity to learn where it has come from, let it go, then replace it. However, I did not anticipate the next part, which is how immediately great I would feel after replacing the negative thought with its positive counterpart. For most, if not all, of the day my mood has been good, I haven’t felt nearly as fatigued as usual even though I only got 6 hours of sleep which by my standards is 2 hours less than my usual 8. My emotional energy seemed slightly higher than average and although the negative thoughts were abundant and consistent, I did not waiver from my mission. I also decided to take it easy on myself, as this is only my first day of a life long project and accept that I have over three decades of mental conditioning to change, which not surprisingly is not going to happen over night.
I have also decided that whenever a mishap or something that causes me to get frustrated happens, I will react with laughter and humour rather than my usual agressive “why me?” attitude. This was probably the most difficult of all, but very rewarding. At dinner today while I was enjoying my meal, I was looking forward to eating the best part of the meal which I had saved for the last bite, when just before it reached my mouth it dropped and landed right into my shoe. =(
I immediately held myself back from the giant sigh of self pity that was about to spew from my mouth and just offered up a tiny fake laugh. Then the ridiculousness of myself in that moment ultimately induced real uncontrollable laughter, I imagined how comical I would have appeared to an outside observer who was not aware of the reason for my behaviour.
All in all, my first day has gone pretty well. Let’s see how I go tomorrow, I have a feeling that my journey will more than likely be tested by the universe of temptations in the near future. I believe in my strength to get through it and pass with flying colours, although I may need to repeat the tests a few times before that happens.